Pastor Don Wolan

Pastor Donald Wolan
Downriver Christian Community Church
Melvindale, Michigan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Excessive Baggage!

Staind - "Excess Baggage" Lyrics

Well I know the words, but I can't really speak them
To you

And I hide all the pain that I've gained with my wisdom
From you

And I'm eaten alive by what I hold inside
All the things that I live with I can't easily hide
And I'm left here with nothing, nothing to live for
But you

Its not easy to hide
All this damage inside
I'll carry you with me
Until I'm not alive

When you look at my face, does it seem just as ugly?
To you?

I can't seem to erase all the scars I have lived with
From you

I'm so sick of this place
This taste in my mouth
Cause of you I can't figure what I'm all about
And I'm left here with nothing, nothing to live for
But you

It's not easy to hide
All this damage inside
I'll carry you with me
Til I'm not alive

I have fond memories of the mission trip to Tepic, Mexico last year. One of the funniest events that I vividly remember happened at the airport check-in counter the first day of the trip. I was helping everyone check in their bags at the counter when Kim Mott's turn came. She approached the counter with her usual swagger, lightheartedness, and joy and placed her "luggage" on the scale. The scale quickly announced the weight of her luggage - 67 pounds! Now, this may not seem like an astounding revelation or problem to most people, but for anyone who has ever traveled by plane knows that all luggage must be 50 pounds or lighter! In fact, we had covered this small point of interest numerous times in our mission meetings leading up to the trip.

When the weight was announced, Kim did not seem too upset and reached into her purse to pay her $50 excessive weight fee. There was only one small problem - the fee wasn't $50, it was $200! When Kim was informed about the total, her shoulders slumped, her smile disappeared, and her countenance resembled someone who had just received news of a tragic nature. I immediately told Kim not to worry about the cost, and she seemed relieved but still flustered. The bad part of Kim's experience was not the paying of the $200 dollars, it was the constant harassment from Brian Wilkerson, Ed Lindlbauer, and myself the rest of the trip about the weight and cost of her luggage!

I relate this story because there is a spiritual lesson to learn from this comical episode. The lesson is this - excessive baggage can be costly!  For Kim, it was $200 and being the brunt of countless jokes. For us as Christians, it can be a hindrance from walking in God's fullness and calling for our lives! 

Last Sunday, I shared a message entitled - Hidden Among the Baggage. In the Old Testament, Saul was to be anointed and appointed king over all of Israel, but they could not find him when the time came for his coronation. The people inquired of God as to his whereabouts, and God told them he was hidden among the baggage (I Samuel 10:22)! What kind of man would hide from this honor and responsibility? What kind of future king would lack the courage to present himself to God and his people for their service?

As I thought about this scripture, it dawned on me that Saul was just like most of us! We hide among the baggage in our lives, using it as an excuse to skirt our responsibilities. Baggage such as fear, impossible circumstances, insufficiency in our lives or abilities, past failures and humiliations, ignorance, displaced priorities, unforgiveness of others or ourselves, or an unwillingness to be identified as belonging to Jesus have made us like Saul - fearful of presenting ourselves to God for his use! 

The cost of hiding among the baggage can be a lot more costly than the $200 Kim had to dish out! Broken lives, broken families, destroyed health and relationships, squandered finances, and a host of other disasters can act as baggage that we hide among and refuse to leave behind for the appointment and anointing God wants us to walk in. Jonah 2:8 says:

Those who cling to worthless idols (baggage) forfeit the grace that could be theirs!

It's time for us as "kings" to answer the call, walk away from the baggage where we have been hiding, and begin walking in the authority and anointing of the Holy Spirit. We are encouraged in Hebrews 12:1-3: 
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

In conclusion, I Samuel 10:23-24 says:
They ran and brought him out (from among the baggage), and as he stood among the people he was a head taller than any of the others. Samuel said to all the people, "Do you see the man the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among all the people." Then the people shouted, "Long live the king!" Take your rightful place, leave the baggage behind and get on with the job God has for you!

Stay Holy, My Friends!

Pastor Don

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